A Chic Chat with Fashion Editor & Insider Laurie Pike
Laurie Pike is currently Fashion Editor of The Style Network's mystyle.com. Her previous gigs include heading editorial at LA.com, Glue magazine and Distinction (the Los Angeles Times). She has written for the New York Times, GQ, and Bust, and has consulted for Oprah.com, Bluefly.com, and ParisFrance.com.
When she's off duty, she designs Hexagon, a line of jewelry and handbags.
1. As a Fashion Editor for a high profile site, what is a typical day like for you?
It starts with reading The New York Times, Women's Wear Daily (aka The Bible) and a dozen or so fashion news sites and blogs. Then I'll jump into reporting and writing stories I am working on at the time, which means phone calls and emails to interview people and gather information. There are a few meetings each day, so that the network producers and digital teams stay aligned on projects. I also spend some time each day planning future stories as well as future “products” - web-speak for a new page, section or tool such as the QuickTips app that Style Network is launching at the end of this month.
I love the CR Fashion Book. Although Carine''s French Vogue was visually radical, its written editorial was very commercial with lots of coverage of celebrities and American pop culture. In her new publication, despite big-brand advertising, she is not as obligated to promote the advertisers or to sell newsstand copies to a mainstream market--so she is not required to do the sort of puffy articles on A-listers that Conde Nast magazines are.
3. Who are three fashion editors you admire?
Kim Hastreiter of Paper magazine, Amy Larocca at New York Magazine & Tavi Gevinson (Rookie).
4. How do you spot trends?
It's more than simply observing that several people you have seen on the street are wearing bike shorts. It's about making the connection that, for instance, the Tour de France has just taken place, and that it may be the reason people are wearing bike shorts; you look and think. Also, television and movies influence fashion, so, for instance, I can "spot" the deepening of the Art Deco/'20s trend even though it hasn't hit full stride. But it will when "The Great Gatsby" movie comes out next year. Travel helps you spot trends because you become aware of how different cultures approach dressing. It sharpens your eye. Finally, trends are cyclical. Every generation get nostalgic for the era 20 years prior, so in the 1970s you had a '50s revival, and right now we're starting to see '90s “vintage.”
5. Your take on stylists turned designers?
Some stylists make great designers and some don't. I'm in favor of anyone becoming a designer if they make good clothing.
6. Who are some of emerging designers to watch?
Pedro Lourenco, Son Jung Wan, Joy Cioci & Choonmoo Park.
Michele Lamy. She had her own fashion company and now is muse and business partner to Rick Owens, who is also her husband. She is like a walking museum. No one else dresses like her.
8. What is your go-to shopping site online?
9. What is your favorite...
...place to treat yourself? Paris. I keep an apartment there and go a couple times each year.
...go-to ensemble when nothing else works? Black tuxedo trousers and a Rick Owens jacket.
...cultural hot spot? Toss-up between the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art & the New Museum — all in New York.
...shop for unique gifts? Nathalie Seaver on West Third Street (in L.A.) . She gets French imports that no one else does.
...spot for style-watching? The main drag in Williamsburg.
10. Lastly, do you have any advice for someone wanting to get into the fashion business?
Interning is the best route. A typical college graduate doesn't have the experience needed for the average entry-level job in fashion. However, an internship or two will give a person the skills to bridge that gap. Interning is also a great way to meet people in the field and to begin networking. Fashion is very social in terms of how jobs are filled. A good personality and a discerning eye are important qualities in a fashion employee and a resume cannot communicate that well to an employer.
It's also crucial that you keep up with fashion. You need to know who's who, what the last season's collections looked like and what's happening in retail. Finally, be educated culturally. Go and see museum shows, bone up on history (and not just fashion history) and keep up with international news to stay well-rounded.
- interview by Kelly Croteau
About Kelly: Her work has appeared in Ask Miss A, Project Lena & Malibu Magazine. She recently interviewed Pose co-founder Alisa Gould-Simon, one of Refinery29's Top 30 Under 30.